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A few days ago I read a thread in Ravelry about “pit knitting”. The thread was about people’s different styles of knitting…beyond continental (left hand) and english right hand) methods. “Pit knitting” is a style of knitting, where one needles is secured under the arm. Not good for circulars and requiring long straight needles and apparently can cause curves in your straights over time!

This thread talked about where one needle is rested against the hip, this frees up the hand to focus on the movement of the yarn or to do anything else! (see the photo in the Maakin link!). To prevent poking developing a nice bruise on your hip, traditional knitting belts were advocated (or maakin in the Shetlands). These belts are made of leather, with a cushioned pad with holes to secure your needle.

I have read that the pit knitting is used for “production” knitting. It was used by women who knitted for a living to produce volumes of knitting garments. This technique allows them to knit constantly and have one hand freed for other uses. Oh the ultimate in multi-taskers!

This made me think about my technique. I am quick on the knit stitches, but my purls slow me down. One posters mentioned ‘crotch knitting’. Rather than placing the working needles under your arm, the needle is placed and secured between your legs. I decided to give it a go. I am a right hand English knitter, so I placed the right needle between my leg. This freed up my right hand to work solely with the yarn and (I am no ergonomics expert!) the range of movement of my left hand was decreased. It felt more efficient and my purls flew off the stitches (almost) at the same rate as my knits. The last couple of days have been stinking hot here, so holding the knitting to the side of my body has made me feel less hot while knitting. I think I will employ this technique from now on for straight needle stockinette work.

So there is always something new to learn and try in knitting! One of the most exciting parts about the craft!

On my needles? I am still trucking along with the Peter Davison jumper. With the new techniques I have sped along and have completed the back and 2/3 of one sleeve. I also cast on the Gathered Pullover as some mindless knitting. It’s on hold at the moment, as I have reached the cable section, so the mindlessness is over!

I have become obsessed with Wenlan Chia’s Best Friend Cardigan. This pattern has fascinated me. The patterns appear super tiny but on reading further about Chia’s designs, it appears that there is significant negative ease. So the L size, while measuring 33″ finished, fits a 37″ – 39″ chest. I have some boobage, so it will be interesting to see how this cardigan looks! But on 15mm needles, apparently this can be knocked up in a couple of days! I have been scouring the internet for the right bulky yarn. I have to go to the post office to pick up my dark red Rainbow Wools 20 ply. Photos to follow…

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I have been working exclusively on the Peter Davison cricket jumper from Joy Gammon’s famous Dr Who Pattern Book.
This is my first cable project and my first time knitting with cotton. I got over the cable phobia and a few issues with the pattern and now see that cables aren’t that scary!
I bought cotton instead of wool in a tizz when buying from a Bendigo sale. But now I think it was a serendipitous mistake. The stitch definition is lovely and crisp. The recipient of the jumper is the type of man who never wears a coat, so a cabled woollen jumper would probably have been too heavy for him. I am making the largest size and was initially concerned about the sizing, but stressing less because the cotton will most likely stretch.
I had to frog about 10cm from the armhole decrease, I blame the Three Burials of Melquaides Estrada.

I am in a jumper mood at the moment and gone off socks. I have been purchasing jumper quantities of yarn and have a couple of pattern queued up in Ravelry.
I bought a 5 ply Heirloom Easy Care for the Gathered Pullover, Paton’s Jet Alpaca for the Citrus Yoke Pullover and Vintage Hues for Cardigan with Circular Yoke and Pockets. Thanks to Damo, I scored some new Merino Deluxe DK and am looking for a suitable jumper, perhaps something from Knitting Nature like Ogee Tunic or Turbulence U-Neck.
Better learn to knit faster I think!